Print Against War, an independent movement created by a group of influencers in the global print and packaging industry, is looking to help print companies in Ukraine to keep operating or to re-open for business and is in the process of becoming a non-profit initiative.

Working alongside the Meaningful Print Foundation, it hopes to mobilise the printing industry to help stakeholders cope with wars, natural disasters and pandemics. It calls on printers and converters, publishers, influencers and suppliers to the printing and packaging industry to join forces to support their colleagues. Beyond the war in Ukraine, the organisation’s goals extend to an ongoing ability to help restore the socioeconomic fabric of printing in any region affected by war.

Igor Agarkov, publisher of Print+, said Ukrainian printing houses are continuing to work where possible, mostly in cities such as Odessa or Lviv, adding, ‘Commercial orders are also carried out. Communication is more important now than ever.

‘The companies from Kyiv are printing products for the needs of volunteers and the armed forces. A number of printing houses owners are engaged in volunteer activities. For example, Univest Advertising Production and Avex from Kyiv are actively delivering humanitarian aid and helping to evacuate people from dangerous areas.’

Kharkiv-based SVM, which produces commercial products using its HP Indigo and Ricoh digital presses, is struggling to find materials and is concerned about uncertainties in shipping services. The company also uses Mimaki, Epson and Canon Océ wide-format models and a Kongsberg cutter, while offset jobs are outsourced to partners.

Sergii Mamonov, co-founder of SVM, said, ‘In the beginning, the turnover went to zero, while now we are 20–25% of the level we had before the war. We had more than 40 employees, but now we only need five.’

Vlad Sljapic, chief commercial officer at Graphimecc, has urged Ukrainian printers to ‘hang on in there’ to soon rebuild what was lost. Mr Sljapic, who has worked in the industry for more than 20 years, added, ‘Building a print business, any business, is an emotional roller coaster that requires an enormous amount of personal grit to succeed.

‘To the fellow printers in Ukraine, I send wishes to stay safe and the hope that the current madness stops soon. I personally admire your courage.’